Fresh From Fresh Roots
Over the past two weeks, Fresh Roots has been invited to speak with teachers, funders and industry members, thought leaders and professors from across British Columbia to explore what we can do to support a sustainable food and education system that focuses on ensuring that everyone has access to healthy, good, and local food. Here are some of my takeaway moments:
2. The new BC curriculum creates so many opportunities for teachers and students to use experiential learning through the farms – let’s take that opportunity to explore math, science, literature through a lens of indigeneity and sustainability. We had an incredible field trip exploring these themes just this past month. Come and plant with us!
3. SOYL (our summer internship program) focuses on providing job skills training, food literacy, and self-confidence. And it’s in high demand We had twice the number of applications as we had spots for youth. We’re excited to help provide healthy food for all youth during the summer. Learn more here.
4. Almost 1/3 of food produced globally is thrown away. THAT’S A LOT – Even if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world. Learn more through the FAO.
5. We grow healthy food – and, we help help support an urban connection with food and food systems to remind youth of the intimate connection we all have with land, food, and community. Come and eat with us and with rural farmers who are getting more food to the plate than we ever could. Cheers to them.
6. Singing feels good – so come and join Rhythm and Roots Choir for a show where the proceeds are going right back into Fresh Roots. Get your tickets now.
With a fistful of sunshine,
Marc – feeling like a nice summer kale salad with fresh salmon, and crumbled feta with a mustard vinaigrette – Schutzbank
Chief Poet and Executive Director
Thanks to the incredible weather, fertile soil and a little elbow grease, the fields are producing the most beautiful greens and roots in such great abundance we can hardly keep up! Thankfully, we have some extra help from our new-hires, Allie, our new Good Food Distribution Coordinator and Cody our Schoolyard Farm Worker. With these two on the team we’ll be growing and selling more food than ever before.
– Farmer Charlotte
The city’s farms offer a diverse range of locally grown food and opportunities.
Vancouver is experiencing an urban farming renaissance of sorts.
“There’s an enthusiasm, a sense of resilience and civic engagement,” said Marcela Crowe, Executive Director of the Vancouver Urban Farming Society (VUFS).
The city recently adopted a two-year urban farming pilot. The goal of the project is to “help legitimize urban farming from a land use perspective, and create a consistent approach to urban farming inquiries,” according to the City’s Urban Farming Policy Report.
Besides Vancouver’s long growing season and focus on sustainability, the city’s efforts to promote local agriculture may account for a boom in urban farming. Vancouver aims to increase citywide and neighbourhood food assets by 50 per cent above 2010 levels.
Vancouver has a wide range of farms, the largest being Sole Food at four acres.
There’s also the UBC Farm, which boasts a heritage orchard, a variety of crops, free-range chickens and honeybees as well as a farmers market.
Hannah Wittman, Academic Director for Sustainable Food Systems, pointed out that the farm is launching a participatory seed breeding trial this summer.
“Learning to grow food is one way to expand food literacy in the city,” she said.
Marc Schutzbank, Director of Fresh Roots, believes that urban farming is catching on because “Vancouverites want to be engaged with each other, and gardening is a great way to connect with neighbours.”
Fresh Roots aims to help schools grow community through the process of growing food.
According to Schutzbank, the organization works toward their vision by developing programs that “catalyze ecological stewardship, healthy eating and community celebration.”
Their summer program SOYL, for instance, teaches youth to grow and cook healthy meals for themselves and those in need. With the motto “good food for all,” Fresh Roots “cultivates productive, half-acre educational farms where they grow good food for the school, community, cafeteria and neighbours,” said Schutzbank.
Students also sell the food at local farmers’ markets. Through gardening, they learn traditional subjects experientially, including science lessons about the nitrogen cycle and math lessons involving modelling garden growth.
One of Fresh Roots’ former participants, the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants “hardly spoke” at the beginning of the program, but now she is aware of the importance of healthy and whole foods, said Schutzbank.
Read the article online: http://www.metronews.ca/features/vancouver/vancouvering/2016/05/19/vancouver-trending-urban-farming-on-the-grow-.html
Amy Logan For Metro Published on Fri May 20 2016
Fresh Roots and UBC Faculty of Education’s Intergenerational Landed Learning program have been excitedly collaborating and planning to produce our most exciting year of SOYL youth programming yet!
The SOYL summer employment and leadership program empowers secondary students to cultivate and steward food gardens on school grounds for learning, community building and growing Good Food for All. Through the program, youth develop skills in growing, cooking and selling food, as well as a greater connection to themselves, their community, and the Vancouver food system. They also receive a stipend, community service hours and work experience credit for their contributions. See our SOYL page for more details.
SOYL includes weekly Community Eats lunches, and we have some special volunteer needs to help make this program a reality.
- Volunteer Chefs (4 positions) – applications are due June 12th
- Delivery for Community Eats Volunteer (1 position) – applications are due June 26th
Click on the above links for more details, and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions.